Darren McFadden, seemingly, is injured nearly every week. His latest hamstring injury — sustained against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 3rd – kept him out last week against the New York Giants and will most likely keep him out this week when the Raiders travel to the Houston Texans.
McFadden – Oakland’s 1st round pick (4th overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft – is second on the team in rushing yards with 98 carries for 352 yards, but most likely not for long.
Backup Rashad Jennings eclipsed the 100-yard mark in relief of McFadden against Philadelphia – 15 carries for 102 yards to be exact – and was serviceable against the Giants with 20 carries for 88 yards.
Jennings also caught 7 passes for 74 yards in the Eagles game to bring his total to 283 yards on 44 touches the last two games.
A 2009 7th round pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jennings has rushed 27 less times than McFadden but sits just 22 yards – 330 – behind him.
Add Jennings’ 21 receptions for 190 yards – good for 4th on the team – and he is far above McFadden in total yardage.
Yes, a lot of that is due to McFadden being injured and not having an opportunity to improve his numbers. But, Jennings has been steady and might get a chance to start, even when McFadden gets back. At the very least Jennings will give the Raiders an option to help spell the oft injured back.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said, according to Scott Bair at CSN Bay Area. “We’ll look at that. The key is, he’s going to get his touches because he’s earned them.”
Jennings is just happy for the opportunity.
“You come to work every day and it’s good to be rewarded,” Jennings said. “The reward for me is just playing the game. It’s a little kid’s game, and I never lose sight of that. Whenever I get on the field, whether it’s on special teams or offense, I’m happy.”